Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly pushing ahead with his plans to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, who could be used as a makeweight in order for the Catalan club to recruit Reds ace Philippe Coutinho.
Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported Klopp wants the two deals to be treated separately and admired Rafinha prior to any talk of Coutinho joining Barca (h/t Metro). However, journalist Tancredi Palmeri asserted otherwise:
Metro mentioned Coutinho "wants a move to Camp Nou" as talk of the Blaugrana's interest in the midfielder hastens, although the Reds will undoubtedly do all they can to convince their talisman to stay at Anfield.
The possible introduction of Rafinha to the deal may open Liverpool up to the idea of selling Coutinho, knowing a talented replacement would be arriving in his place, although Empire of the Kop warned against any sale:
Liverpool's hopes of retaining Coutinho aren't aided by reports Paris Saint-Germain want to sign Neymar, who stormed out of a recent Barcelona training session following a bust-up with team-mate Nelson Semedo, per Pete Jenson and Matthew Smith of MailOnline.
Despite talk of an exit amid speculation Neymar could join PSG for £195 million—the value of his buyout clause—Coutinho hasn't given the impression he's eager to leave Merseyside, according to the Liverpool Echo's Kristian Walsh:
As Metro reported, Liverpool are prepared to pay between €30 million (£26.8 million) and €40 million (£35.8 million) for Rafinha. However, also citing Mundo Deportivo's report, Sport Witness said it's not clear whether an offer has been made.
Yahoo's Andrew Gaffney doesn't believe the 24-year-old, who has made 78 appearances for Barca, is worth such a figure:
Rafinha struggled with several fitness setbacks before suffering a meniscus injury in April. He finished the 2016-17 campaign having made 28 appearances for the Blaugrana, although only 18 of those were starts.
The Brazilian is understood to be open to a move to Liverpool, however, as he believes it would increase his chances of making the Selecao squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Like any player, Coutinho may find it difficult to turn down a move to Barcelona despite Liverpool's progress under Klopp.
The prospect of seeing a Barcelona-grade player may improve the chances of the Reds No. 10's transfer to the Camp Nou club being completed, but Liverpool surely wouldn't want to trade a talisman for a mere squad member.